Updated on 15 May 2013
According to the Economic Development Board of Singapore, close to 7,000 researchers carry out biomedical sciences R&D in more than 50 companies, universities, and 30 public-sector institutes under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Ministry of Health (MOH). Collectively, the country is spending more than $1.20 billion on biomedical R&D annually.
Further strengthening its support for the country, Roche established a $105 million Translational Medicine Hub to partner with Singapore's scientific and medical institutions. The firm aims to develop new standards and strategies in drug development and personalized healthcare. Similarly, GSK has established its first Academic Center of Excellence in Singapore and its first four projects are focused on innovative medicine for ophthalmology, regenerative medicine and neuro-degeneration. It is not only the international companies that are showing interest in Singapore, due to its high standard of infrastructural facilities. Domestic companies are equally priming-up and setting standards to get international acclaim. Singapore-based Aslan Pharmaceuticals and Array BioPharma entered into an agreement to develop Array's HER2 / EGFR inhibitor. The agreement leverages Aslan's strengths in clinical development in Asia, and on the high prevalence of gastric cancer in this part of the world.
Besides R&D, Singapore continues to be the preferred zone for running business in Asia. Seven of the top 10 pharmaceutical and top 10 medical technology companies have their regional headquarters in Singapore.
According to EDB, leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology companies presently operate more than 50 commercial-scale manufacturing facilities in Singapore. Besides producing for regional and global markets, companies are enhancing their manufacturing activities through process development, R&D in sustainable manufacturing, and partnering to upgrade their suppliers' capabilities.
Focus on medtech sector
Over the years, Singapore has strengthened its medtech sector and has been supporting domestic and international companies to bring medical technology innovation in Asia by harnessing the opportunities offered by the region. In Singapore, around 30 medtech companies carry out R&D in areas such as value engineering and product development for regional and global market that include companies like Becton Dickinson, Biosensors, Hill-Rom, Siemens Medical Instruments, Menicon, Thermo Fisher, Welch Allyn, AB Sciex, Vela Diagnostics, Qiagen, as well as local start-ups like HealthStats and Veredus Laboratories.